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manual flour mill (maybe other things) attached to stationary bicycle

 
Posts: 192
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I figure there has to be someone here who has done this.

we recently started grinding our own flour, but currently using a mill at a friends. from what I see all the electric units are a decent investment, I am leaning toward manual power, especially for things we use infrequently like this.

Hmmm, wouldn't it also be great if other things like mixers, blenders, butter churn, salad spinners and that sort of thing could be operated while pedaling, hands free to do other things as the mill or other device is mounted near the handlebar, driven most likely by a chain? I see a heavy flywheel would be a benefit, might take a bit to get spinning at full speed, but smoother once it gets going.

why run on the treadmill, paying for power or stationary bike, wasting energy when you could prepare your next meal?

When I have ideas like these, its hard to not envy the Amish lifestyle!

I found this article about it http://countrylivinggrainmills.com/index.php?action=articles&which=Bike.txt curious if anyone here could chime in!
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I once saw a flour mill hooked up to the rear sprocket on a bike.  Kind of neat.  If it was me though, it would be on the deck, not in the kitchen.
 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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I run both my manual flour mill and my barley crushing grain mill (beer making) off a washing machine motor.

I got a free dead washing machine (98% of the time its not the motor that breaks, its the cheap controller/timer components so you have to keep buying new washing machines).

It saves landfill, carbon energy and waste by reusing and re-functioning manufactured items.

A set of wheels with belt groove and a belt and now I can grind at low RPMs and not over heat the grains and destroy the nutrients.

Easy as!
http://www.youtube.com/user/BrewerPete

Cheers,
PeterD
 
Posts: 64
Location: Northwest
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The intertubes have info about some folks in Oregon (where else?) going around to festivals using pedal power to operate a blender. They sell the smoothies. People can pedal power their own smoothie.

You can store the power in a battery, too.

I use a Vitamix to make flour. It is the only electrical appliance I can't live without, so I will have to figure out something. The computer is the other thing, so I know I will never be going totally without electricity, much as I like remote camping. Hopefully this will be the year I get me some pedal power! There is a ton of info out there, and some ready made set-ups for the tech-challenged with excess cash.
 
Posts: 23
Location: Kentucky, USA
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See: http://www.mayapedal.org/machines.html

and more generally:
Understanding Pedal Power:
http://www.cd3wd.com/cd3wd_40/VITA/PEDALPWR/EN/PEDALPWR.HTM

and Pedal Power in Work, Leisure, and Transportation:
http://www.cd3wd.com/cd3wd_40/JF/424/19-424.pdf
 
Posts: 159
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and for your gear reduction needs...lawn mower transmissions are great...drive em with a belt or belt chain, and leave yourself the option of changing belts and driving it with an electric motor...preferably one scavenged from an appliance...
 
Robert Fairchild
Posts: 23
Location: Kentucky, USA
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Roller chain is the most efficient (least friction/power loss) power transmission mechanism. (That's why it's the choice for bicycles)
See:
http://www.gizmology.net/sprockets.htm

Bicycle chain is sort of an odd size #41. You can salvage lots of bicycle sprockets and chains and cranks and pedals.

If you want to go new (surplus) and use other sizes try:
https://www.surpluscenter.com/powerTrans.asp?catname=powerTrans
 
Posts: 485
Location: Englehart, Ontario, Canada
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMeQsSJG0ts&feature=related

This is a homebuilt DIY mill that can be easily adapted to bike power.
 
Posts: 3380
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kFVHwyuGKA

I had similar plans, until my wife sent the exercise bike to GoodWill without asking.... It was a good one with a cast iron flywheel wheel and everything.
 
Posts: 23
Location: Anguilla BWI, Nova Scotia when stuff grows
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In Episode 5 of Victorian Farm 6 part BBC TV production they show a bicycle powered sheep shearer that the patron of the original estate contrived to make the job easier than hand cranking. You can see the episodes online but it was interesting to see a turn of the century bike powered equipment... he did break a sweat but clearly so much more efficient than hand crank and smoother operation vs pauses at top of crank wheel.

 
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I bought a Country Living mill and mounted it to an exercise bike / ten speed hybrid. I scavenged a stationary exercise bike and a ten speed bike from the county dump, chopped'em up and rewelded them together with the ten speed hub in front. I removed the rim and spokes and bolted a 4 in. V-groove pulley to hub. The mill is attached to a bracket in front of the handle bars so I can feed the mill as I pedal. A V-belt goes from the ten speed hub to the pulley on the mill. I never hooked up the front derailer ( now the rear), so it has five speeds. Low gears for a pastry flour grind, high gears for cracked grain like polenta. It works great. Burns carbs while ya grind them.
 
Posts: 4
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
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I have a Country Living Mill and many other tools and appliances that are non-electric. I enjoy working with my hands, and yes, I'm a bit of a throwback. I enjoy doing the small bit of manual labor to see the process through whether it be hand-quilting, soap-making, milking my goats, or kitchen duties. For the small amount of time needed to grind my grain for bread, hand-whisk my eggs, make cheeses by hand, knead bread dough, or even pull the little string in my manual "cuisinart", my focus is on the process that I am doing "by hand".

I can't figure out why someone wants to take a simple process that is manual and "off grid", then add the 'multi-tasking' factor to it while also mechanically altering the 'by hand' slower method. Isn't part of the purpose of voluntary simplicity and hand work about using your own hands, not mechanizing the process with an add-on feature? It takes mere minutes to grind the necessary grain for a few loaves of bread. Adding a bicycle to the process is an energy substitute, sure, but in doing so the grain is no longer ground by hand but by additional mechanisms. I just don't get it.....
 
Posts: 292
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Suggestions for low cost mills that you have personal positive experience with please!?
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Lynn Woodard wrote:I have a Country Living Mill and many other tools and appliances that are non-electric. I enjoy working with my hands, and yes, I'm a bit of a throwback. I enjoy doing the small bit of manual labor to see the process through whether it be hand-quilting, soap-making, milking my goats, or kitchen duties. For the small amount of time needed to grind my grain for bread, hand-whisk my eggs, make cheeses by hand, knead bread dough, or even pull the little string in my manual "cuisinart", my focus is on the process that I am doing "by hand".

I can't figure out why someone wants to take a simple process that is manual and "off grid", then add the 'multi-tasking' factor to it while also mechanically altering the 'by hand' slower method. Isn't part of the purpose of voluntary simplicity and hand work about using your own hands, not mechanizing the process with an add-on feature? It takes mere minutes to grind the necessary grain for a few loaves of bread. Adding a bicycle to the process is an energy substitute, sure, but in doing so the grain is no longer ground by hand but by additional mechanisms. I just don't get it.....



A small bit to know how to do it or a loaf of bread once a week is one thing; bread for a family of 6-12 is quite another-that is not sustainable.
 
Lynn Woodard
Posts: 4
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
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R Scott wrote:A small bit to know how to do it or a loaf of bread once a week is one thing; bread for a family of 6-12 is quite another-that is not sustainable.



What's not sustainable, the large family or making bread for them? Do you understand the term "sustainable"?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3380
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Lynn Woodard wrote:

R Scott wrote:A small bit to know how to do it or a loaf of bread once a week is one thing; bread for a family of 6-12 is quite another-that is not sustainable.



What's not sustainable, the large family or making bread for them? Do you understand the term "sustainable"?



I was tongue-in-cheek referencing this thread: https://permies.com/t/2549/permaculture/sustainable-means-barely-staying-ahead

The key to making a large family work is getting the kids to WORK. I have two, maybe three, kids that can turn a flour mill by hand--and they are more needed for other chores on the homestead. But I have 6 kids that can pedal one.
 
Lloyd George
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I was hoping you were joking....

Some folks have time to burn...it takes me 20 minutes total time involved to make a couple loaves of bread..if I were to grind hte flour for that by hand...double the time, at least...

A point about the kids...and yeah...ten minute grinding flour is alot better than 20 when the chickens need feeding and moving, the goats need a herd walk, pigs need slopping, somebody needs to hose down that poor horse and groom him from all this heat...and then there is a still the last batch of wheat to be threshed and winnowed....it is always something..
 
Posts: 12
Location: Montcerf-Lytton, Qu├ębec, Canada
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R Scott wrote:

Lynn Woodard wrote:

R Scott wrote:A small bit to know how to do it or a loaf of bread once a week is one thing; bread for a family of 6-12 is quite another-that is not sustainable.



What's not sustainable, the large family or making bread for them? Do you understand the term "sustainable"?



I was tongue-in-cheek referencing this thread: https://permies.com/t/2549/permaculture/sustainable-means-barely-staying-ahead

The key to making a large family work is getting the kids to WORK. I have two, maybe three, kids that can turn a flour mill by hand--and they are more needed for other chores on the homestead. But I have 6 kids that can pedal one.

I said the same thong to my wife but she doesnt laugh. You might be better anyway by enslave a cow or something else to grind you flour and maybe charge your batteries
 
Posts: 13
Location: West Virginia, USA
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Lloyd George wrote:and then there is a still the last batch of wheat to be threshed and winnowed....it is always something..



Grain threshing and winnowing you say?

 
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Check out this video. It covers many different pedal power machines. Including a manual flour mill.

 
gardener
Posts: 833
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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This is the best use I have seen for an exercise machine ....... I know it isn't  producing food but it is promoting good health and cooperation.

https://youtu.be/qhejwuDLr24
 
pollinator
Posts: 130
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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So I have an idea, but not sure how to make it work. I have an old Singer treadle base, with no machine. I want to make it so the treadle can pump water from say one of those 3 gallon water jug up to a sink on top of the treadle base. This will be for my restroom in my sewing studio, where there will be no running water. I'm planning on having a composting toilet. Any ideas?
 
Posts: 600
Location: Michigan
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The only project like it, i have built was a generator. The derivatives of machinery basically millworks, the pedal cycles are my favorite. Taking the bicycle and re applying the technology to millworks again is great stuff. People invested huge efforts into bicycle technology yeilding amazing quality parts of every type and the butter churn.... not so much.

The sites with pedal car, pedal trike and mountan bike build/hack parts supply, etc. have all the parts one would need to put together a superb machine. I would like an electric pedal car. Its been an interest for some time and some things apply to any pedal powered utility machines.

Driveline and adaptor availability off the shelf.

Solutions available as examples in light fabrication and diy sourcing and design.... aka Hack, including electric assist, which translates well to charging or direct electric. I have had great success over the years with adapting when building bikes and electric cycles. with minimal, and im talking hacksaw and tech screw minimal, no real fabrication aside from bracketry and refit. Adaption will go a long way, leaving bought or special made or modified outsource help to a minimum.
There are lots of legos available for this, from junkpile to obscure catalog, so its exciting!

Power delivery by foot pedal crank in a seated position reduces fatigue and increases leverage and output over time, makes even positive displacement pumps doable.

Pedal truck with a PTO shaft available for farm gear would be sweet!
 
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